By Lloyd Brown
There is a long list of things I’m not an expert in, but near the top would be psychology. So, I’m thinking of calling Dr. Phil and asking him why Florida liberals hate Gov. Rick Scott so much.
When people drive around in cars festooned with hot-pink bumper stickers saying “Pink Slip Rick,” it indicates a certain level of passion, although not necessarily rationality.
The only zeal I’ve seen that exceeded it was the seething hatred for President George W. Bush
But that was a bit more understandable. Liberals thought Bush “stole” the election in Florida in 2000. Even after this was proved wrong, they couldn’t let it go. (I never quite grasped how that rascal Bush hijacked the election by tricking Democrat voters into punching holes in the wrong place in cards designed and distributed in counties run by Democrat officials, but whatever.)
Then there was the whole Iraq liberation thing, upon which reasonable people can disagree.
But Scott hasn’t unseated any tyrants who have been invading other countries, stockpiling weapons of mass destruction and murdering hundreds of thousands of people.
Scott had to spend a lot of money in his election because he was unknown to the voters. He probably dropped $15 million — of the $73 million he spent on the election — just propagating his name and background.
But his platform sold itself. Voters obviously liked what it said.
Scott took on a big state government when the economy was heading south but not tourists. Said tourists provide a lot of the wherewithal for Florida government.
Meanwhile, serial job-killer President Barack Obama was working his magic and Florida businesses were being stimulated to death.
Scott is not a politician and, therefore, he is doing exactly what he said he would do. His most fervent detractors cannot be those who voted for him.
One problem he has is the media. Governors are supposed to at least pretend they love and respect the media mavens. Scott doesn’t need the job and the media didn’t support him, so he doesn’t need the approval liberals get gratis, but conservatives must grovel for – if they want it.
Nevertheless, he and the Legislature have managed to restrain spending without doing any damage to the essential functions of state government. There are signs of job growth, despite the policies from Washington that seem designed to crush capitalism, growth and the private sector: in other words, the fuel for the engine of the welfare state. Perhaps it can run on windmills.
Scott may end up being a one-term governor if he continues to be his own counsel and not follow the collective chorus of wisdom from the state’s editorial boards.
But it’s a funny thing. Conservatives don’t stay up nights worrying about their self-esteem.
Scott didn’t write two autobiographies before reaching middle age and doesn’t think he is the salvation of mankind. I only met him once, but he strikes me as someone who was a success in the private sector and thought he might be able to help in the public sector as well, having seen the state flounder for four years under a governor whose life blood was printer’s ink.
However, since he clearly is not in the PC crowd, I suspect the only thing Scott wants to “give back” is his job, when he is finished with it.
Lloyd Brown was in the newspaper business nearly 50 years, beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville.